Explain why Afghanistan has played such an important role in international relations since 1979.
The history of Afghanistan since 1979 had been violent and confused. In 1978, the left-wing government seized power Afghanistan. This government tried to modernize the Afghan society by providing equal rights to women and promoting secularism. Opposition from conservatives was severe and soon civil war broke out. In 1979, the soviet troops entered to support the communist government. The USSR was expecting a short campaign but the USA treated it as a part of the cold war and extended help in form of money and arms via Pakistan to Muslim opposition. There were several Muslim groups, however, collectively they were known as mujahedeen. One group was al-Qaeda whose leader Osama Bin Laden was supported and trained by the USA.
From 1992, Taliban government ruled Afghanistan until it was overthrown by the USA and its allies. In the Taliban reign, Afghanistan became a safe heaven and breeding ground for terrorists. Afghanistan fell back to medieval times with its regressive laws, especially targeting women. After 9/11, Bush government launched a ‘war against terrorism’. Afghanistan was one of the main fronts. One of the main objectives was catching Osama Bin Laden. Though the Taliban government regime felled he was at large until traced and killed in Pakistan. Elections were held in Afghanistan in 2004 in which Hamid Karzai won by a narrow majority. Fight against Taliban is still going on in Afghanistan and slowly the responsibility of peace and security is transferred to the Afghan National Army.